The move to a nursing home represents a major change in an older person’s life. Not only are they leaving their home, they are also being taken into the care of others. A holistic nursing and furnishing concept can facilitate this transition, as Haus Limone, a fully resident nursing home run by Vita Tertia in Offenburg, proves.
“We are the first nursing home in Germany to work according to the French concept of ‘humanitude’, i.e. attentive care,” states Sandra Greiner, care home manager of Haus Limone. The approach developed by Yves Gineste and Rosette Mariscotti enjoys great popularity in France and French-speaking countries but is still relatively unknown in Germany. The basis of the concept is the philosophy that a person needs a relationship with others in order to experience themselves as human beings. Accordingly, the quality of the interpersonal relationship is at the forefront, expressed by the way you talk to someone, look at someone and touch them. “This means, for example, that we wake residents in the morning with a gentle touch and pay attention to how the resident slept that night,” the nursing home manager explains. Haus Limone has set itself the goal of responding to the individual needs of the residents, giving them the freedom to make their own choices and offering day-to-day care. In addition, they aim to keep residents as independent as possible for as long as possible. “Instead of patronising our residents and unnecessarily relieving them of tasks, we give them time to do things themselves. Then it just takes a little longer to get dressed,” says Sandra Greiner.
As an important part of human relationships, Haus Limone offers many possibilities for interaction. There are group rooms and a bright space open to everyone to meet. Here, the inhabitants can sit with their visitors and celebrate their birthday or wedding anniversary. In addition, there is a wide range of activities on offer. The weekly bingo session is particularly popular, and a visiting musician gives residents the opportunity to get their dancing shoes on. The intergenerational exchanges with the kindergarten of the neighbouring Montessori Centre are also welcome. As part of this cooperation, a group of children regularly visit Haus Limone or some of the residents visit the kindergarten. “We wished to create an environment in which senior citizens could find a new home,” comments Sandra Greiner.
Textiles create a colourful feel-good atmosphere
The furnishing of this nursing home enhances the above-mentioned approach to care. The central idea was to create a place with a family atmosphere where the residents would feel at home. In order to make the house feel smaller, the 45 single rooms are divided into three living areas, each with 15 rooms: Arta, Deia and Inca, named after three small towns in Mallorca. A colour-coordinated concept distinguishes the individual areas. Textiles such as curtains and upholstery fabrics also make a significant contribution to well-being. The decision was made to use drapilux fabrics. "The durability and the intelligent additional functions of the textiles were the deciding factor," depicts Sandra Greiner. All articles from the Emsdetten-based manufacturer are flame retardant (drapilux flammstop) and can also have an air-purifying (drapilux air), antibacterial (drapilux bioaktiv) or acoustic (drapilux akustik) function.
Three different colours of the drapilux 107 article were chosen as the upholstery fabric, matching the respective colour concept of the area. The fabric is also equipped with the air-purifying function drapilux air. This permanently eliminates unpleasant odours so that the textile contributes to keeping the air in the room fresh. The curtains in the Arta rooms are also equipped with this function – they feature drapilux 101, a semi-transparent faux-block print in bright pink. drapilux 102 is used in the other two areas. This is an opaque faux-block print equipped with drapilux all in one, which combines the air-purifying function of drapilux air and the antibacterial function of drapilux bioaktiv. The latter fights up to 99% of the bacteria on the textile. In the Deia area, the fabric in fresh green brings colour into the rooms, while the Inca rooms are decorated in friendly yellow, not only providing fresh air but also creating a cheerful mood.
The reactions of residents and visitors show that the central idea has been successfully implemented. "The first thing most people say is that it doesn't look like a nursing home, but much more like a hotel," comments a very happy Sandra Greiner. The overall concept is also convincing: the home, which opened in March 2018, is fully occupied and also has a waiting list.